Highways England has announced there could be an end to confusing “ghost markings” on roads.

When white road markings are removed, for example when road layouts change, the original lines can sometimes still appear as faint or “ghost” markings, particularly in bright sunshine, making the road ahead unclear for drivers.

Last year, Highways England launched a £685,000 international research project to find a solution to issues around the removal of white lines and ghost markings.

The competition set out to identify the most effective road markings that will also reduce damage to the surface when the lines are removed.

Seven new products are being tested to check their skid resistance and performance in the dry and wet as well as five systems for removing white lines to see if they are more effective.

“The trial will continue until April but the results so far have been very promising and the safety benefits are already clear,” said Head of Lean and Continuous Improvement, Martin Bolt.

“We are very optimistic that we have identified some effective solutions to a worldwide problem.”

Products from around the world were submitted for the competition. At a testing centre in the Spanish capital Madrid, the markings were then subjected to some two million “wheel overs” to find the top products for skid resistance and performance.

The best seven were then also put to the test on the northbound carriageway of the M5, between junctions 20 (Clevedon, Nailsea) and 18 (Avonmouth).

Once testing is complete, the most successful products will be highlighted in research shared around the world and setting new high standards for the road industry.